**Update: 03/05/20 @ 3:26 UTC UK Civil Aviation Authority confirmed Flybe entered administration. The airline also published a statement. Details below.**
British regional airline Flybe has folded after failing to secure financial aid from the government. Currently, the webpage of the airline is down and every aircraft has landed.
UK Civil Aviation Authority confirmed Flybe has entered administration. Also, all flights operated by Stobart Air are canceled. The regulator advised passengers not to go to the airport as the flights will not be operating.
The airline was looking a £100m loan
“Europe’s largest independent regional airline has been unable to overcome significant funding challenges to its business. This has been compounded by the outbreak of coronavirus which in the last few days has resulted in a significant impact on demand. The airline has provided vital connectivity between the UK regions for over 40 years. All flights operated by Flybe have been cancelled with immediate effect.”
Earlier today, we reported that the government was likely to deny a £100m loan to Flybe. This meant the regional airline reached a new peak of crisis.
Then, during the day, a reporter for broadcaster ITV commented on Twitter that a Flybe aircraft had been seized at Glasgow International Airport.
Has FlyBe just ceased operating in front of my eyes? Waiting to board a FlyBe flight to Birmingham and all of their flights have just been cancelled. Advice from staff is FlyBe “definitely will not be flying out tomorrow either.” @itvnews pic.twitter.com/LdIbn4qJ67
— Peter A Smith (@PeterAdamSmith) March 4, 2020
“Staff are being taken off their aircraft and being told the bad news,” he wrote. He added that some staff also said that the regional carrier will not be flying tomorrow.
According to the BBC, the collapse of Flybe would put 2,000 jobs at risk.
FlightRadar posted that flight BE2111 coming from Edinburgh to London is very likely the last Flybe flight to operate. Media reports supported this indicating that the airline is ceasing operations and entering administration tonight.
The first deal angered many
In January, Flybe fleshed out a deal with the British government. It consisted of deferring more than $130 million USD of APD payments.
This deal angered many airlines in the UK. After all, Flybe obtained what Thomas Cook couldn’t. Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO said the deal “breaches state aid and competition law,”. He went to predict that Flybe was going to fail if the subsidy ended.
Earlier today, during the first news of the imminent folding of Flybe, some posted images of airplanes being impounded. This happened due to unpaid airport fees. In February, we reported that some lessors were worried that Flybe’s fleet could be seized. Of its fleet, 34 Dash 8 were leased, two Embraer ERJ-170 were leased, two ERJ-190 were leased and all of its six ATR aircraft were also leased.
— Rich Booth (@rich_booth) March 4, 2020
How it will affect connectivity?
Four airports across the UK have more than 70% of their flights operated by Flybe. Anglesey (with 100% of flights operated by Flybe), Southampton (95%), Belfast City (79.5%), and Exeter (78%) are the most affected.
Other cities that will feel an impact in their daily operations are Newquay (65.9%), Wick (58.7%), Jersey (57.4%), and Cardiff (51.8%).
Flybe had a fleet of 71 aircraft. The majority of which was of 54 De Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8 turboprops.
The regional airports in the UK are going to feel the most the cease of operations of Flybe. Some Twitter users say that the following months are going to be hell for people trying to connect out Belfast, for example.
Flybe has entered administration.
All Flybe flights are cancelled. Please do not go to the airport as your Flybe flight will not be operating.
— UK Civil Aviation Authority (@UK_CAA) March 5, 2020
What happened after the website went down?
Oddly enough, after Flybe’s website went down, three flights of the company took off. These are flights BE1047 from Manchester to Aberdeen, BE297 from Manchester to Edinburgh, and flight BE486 from Manchester to Belfast.
Aviation journalist Seth Miller said that “it makes sense to get the planes back to a base in an orderly manner if possible.” What do you think of Flybe’s folding? Let us know in the comments.